Sometimes it's still hard to believe that this is Josh Hamilton as we know him now.
Not this Josh Hamilton anymore.
Or this one.
Or the one that was making Mel and I get misty-eyed seeing him be interviewed on the field after winning the pennant in 2010.
Sure he still will be all those things in our memories, and those will last a lifetime. And we will pass them on to our daughter one day.
Still, the memory that stands out now is the one of him cutting up and making jokes about how the Rangers "should have put a ring on it" as far as the Rangers' efforts to re-sign him to a contract go.
So with that said, let's be honest here for a moment.
That little tidbit that came out today/yesterday about the notion that Arlington isn't a baseball town in and of itself is not really that big a deal to me. All he was doing was answering a question by giving his opinion. No one can, or should, fault the guy for that. Frankly, it's not really that far from the truth, the ENTIRE STATE isn't really a baseball first kind of place. It is, and probably always will be (unless something changes drastically) a football state. D/FW is a Cowboys town regardless of what some stupid poll shows. That's just the way it is.
So I tend to agree with the fact that yes, Arlington probably isn't a baseball town. It would be cool if it was, but it's not. And yes, Rangers fans are probably a little spoiled by the last couple of years.
So now that that's cleared up....
Let's take a look back at some of the things Josh Hamilton has had to deal with during the course of his career in Texas. Again, I preface all of this by saying without question that the man is absolutely entitled to his own opinions:
He's had demons come back into his life.
He's gotten beaten up.
And played a role in an incomprehensible tragedy.
And at no point, in my recollection, did fans abandon his side through any of that, yet the guy has the gall to bring up the fact, again, that he was booed a lot last season.
My favorite comment of that link up above was this:
It’s just like last year, when I got booed after going 2-for-4 in a game, driving in a couple runs, and I struck out the other two times.
Please just shut up.
Hey, you also played like crap for three months.
Hey, you also dropped that ball in Oakland.
And hey, you also went 0 for 4 in the Wild Card game and saw a grand total of 2 pitches. (I think it was more like 8, but whatever.)
I guess what I'm getting at in all of this is: It is irresponsible and just plain ridiculous of the guy, even if he is just generalizing, to talk this way about the same fans who stood by his side through the trials and tribulations in his life during his five years here.
Yes, Arlington may not be a baseball town in the same sense that New York, Boston, or Philadelphia are. It's not going to ever be until some World Series titles begin to accumulate here.
And God help us all if the Cowboys win another Super Bowl before the Rangers win a title.
But here's what Deadspin had to say in regards to the points Josh is trying to make earlier today.
First, that Rangers fans are bandwagoners and shouldn't have booed him when he struggled because he brought them a pair of pennants. Second, that any true baseball fan won't boo him when he returns in a division rival's uniform, because of the good times they had together. The accuracy of both of these statements is up for debate, but the point is now moot: the surest way to get booed is to publicly say you shouldn't be.Yes.
There's going to be tough times this season in Arlington and there's a lot of question marks. But this is a better team in the long run without him on it. No question.
End vent session.